Geelong versus the Bye

Geelong has a problem with the Bye. Chris Scott doesn’t think so, or he didn’t. He may have conceded it now. They’ve lost the game following the Bye for the last 7 years running. A record which gets worse if you extend it to incorporate the pre-finals Bye and the week off leading into a home Prelim. Since 2012 Geelong are now 9 losses and 1 win following a week off. They’ve lost by a little, they’ve lost by a lot. They’ve lost to teams en route to the flag and teams on their way to the bottom. They’ve lost when they lead at the final siren and when they had a chance to win it with that final kick.


For whatever reason, Geelong has a problem with the Bye. Like when Hawthorn had a problem with Geelong. The coaches might dismiss it. Then they might acknowledge it. They might even have tried everything they can think of to fix it. But somehow it has sunk deep into the psyche of the players and the fans and become a reality. And like Hawthorn, Geelong will not win the flag until they break their curse.



Entered the Bye on a 3 match win streak, 7 and 4 for the year.

Played Sydney, in Sydney. Gave up a 6 goal lead in Q1 where it stayed until late in Q3. Kicked 6 in a row to take the lead halfway through Q4 and were in front with a couple of minutes to go but couldn’t hang on.




Entered the Bye 10 and 1, their only loss coming to Collingwood in round 8.

Played Brisbane, in Brisbane. Dominated the game to lead by 52 points late in Q3 before infamously giving up 10 goals to 1 to lose the match on the siren.




Entered the Bye 6 and 1, losing to Port, in Adelaide, in round 6.

Played Freo, in Perth, who raced to a 5 goal lead and held steady from there for the night. It should be noted this was Pavlich’s 300th game and Freo probably would’ve beaten whomever was unlucky enough to draw that game.




Entered the Bye 6 and 6 but won’t play again for 2 more weeks after Phil Walsh’s tragic death and the cancellation of the match against Adelaide.

Played North, at Docklands. After an even Q1, North kicked 7 goals to 1 in Q2 to blow the game open and beat Geelong for the second time that year.




Entered the Bye 10 and 4 with strange losses to Carlton and St Kilda putting question marks on their season.

Played Sydney, at Kardinya Park, who have established themselves as Geelong’s bogey side by this point. Sydney turn a 2 goal lead at half time into a 6 goal final margin with Geelong unable to kick consecutive goals for the rest of the match.



2016 also saw the introduction of the pre-finals Bye round and it’s questionable impact on the benefit of the extra week off to the teams who win their Qualifying finals. Geelong scrape home in an arm wrestle with Hawthorn but only after Isaac Smith missed a shot after the siren from 35 metres out, no angle to speak of. Following their second week off before the prelim, Geelong were blown off the park by a Sydney side who booted 7 goals in Q1. Geelong managed 8 goals for the game.



Entered the Bye 8 and 3, what should have been a strong start to the year marred by a run of 3 losses to Collingwood, Gold Coast and Essendon. None of which made finals.


Played West Coast, in Perth, started slowly and only managed 2 goals to half time. An 8 goal second half fightback came too late and it was only West Coasts 11.17 score line that gave them any kind of a look in.



The pre-finals Bye was followed by a 51 point demolition at the hands of the Tigers on their way to the Premiership. Most of that damage came in Q4 but Geelong never looked likely, fighting just to hold on to the game to 3 quarter time.



Entered the Bye 8 and 5, slightly ahead on the ledger but unable to challenge top teams.


Played the Bulldogs, at Docklands, in what was mostly an arm wrestle and missed a shot after the siren. Two things stand out about this loss. First, the Dogs were coming off a 5 game losing streak, which makes it a danger game but one Geelong should be expected to win. Second, Geelong had not lost to the Bulldogs since 2009, an 11 game win streak.



The pre-finals Bye again did Geelong no favours. Another slow start gave Melbourne a 5 goal to none lead at quarter time, a margin they more or less maintained through to the end. Interestingly, it seems that this is the loss that has sparked Geelong’s playing group to their rise up the ladder this year.



Entered the Bye 11 and 1, their only loss coming to GWS in round 4.


They play Port, in Adelaide, Saturday night. Port sit a game outside the 8 in 9th place and have gone LWLWL for their last 5 matches, which has them due for a win if the pattern continues. They are coming off a bruising post-bye defeat to Fremantle in Perth but they have gone Loss Win following the Bye and their China trip for the last 2 years. Potentially another pattern in the making.


Early season speculation on September plans has taken on a new aspect this year as I’ve headed north to Mullumbimby to farm unicorns up in the hills. Talking to Pop a few weeks ago, Geelong are looking good. 2 games clear on top of the ladder, effectively 3 games clear thanks to percentage, a home qualifying final looks all but guaranteed. But we’ve seen teams fall apart from here before and Geelong have gone back to teasing us post 2011. But if they beat Port this week I’ll start looking at flights.


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